March 5th marks St Piran’s Day, a celebration named after one of Cornwall’s patron saints.
According to legend, St Piran was born in the 6th Century. He was born and raised in Ireland before travelling to Rome to study the scriptures. He returned to Ireland and was made a Bishop. It was around this time that St Piran began performing miraculous deeds including bringing the dead back to life.
As his fame and influence grew, a group of tribal kings became afraid of his powers, and it is said that they threw him into the sea from a high cliff. To add to the torture, before tossing him, they secured a millstone around his neck. Amazingly, when he hit the water St Piran did not sink, but began to float towards the Cornish shore.
He eventually reached land at a place now known as Perran Beach in Perranporth. Here he built a chapel and it is said that his first converts were a fox, a badger, and a boar. Soon word of his teaching had spread all over the county.
Surprisingly, St Piran was also the person who discovered tin – one day he noticed a black stone on his fire leaking a white liquid. The monochrome Cornish Flag is said to represent the white tin flowing from the black rock, or good overcoming evil.